BEDFORD, N.Y. Joe Amuso has received a surprising honor. The legendary Fox Lane High School varsity wrestling coach, who retired in March after 41 years, was named the 2011-12 New York State wrestling coach of the year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Amuso, who guided the Foxes to a second consecutive Section 1 Division II team championship and fifth since 2004, is the first Section 1 coach to receive this honor.
"I am honored to be selected by the state for this award, but this is something I receive because of the kids," Amuso said. "I am proud to be receiving this because it recognizes all of their hard work. I am also happy to be able to represent our school and our program."
Amuso registered his 400th win in December, rallying to beat Clarkstown South as seniors Giancarlo Morreale and Matt Pasqualini won the last two matches. Amuso finished with 406 wins. The Foxes won the Section 1 Division I team title on the strength of four individual champions Sam Speno, Danny Ventura, Matt Pasqualini and Tommy Grippi.
The four sectional titlists gave Amuso 35 for his career, many of whom were multiple winners, including Speno. Amuso, who taught physical education at Fox Lane, had 23 all-state wrestlers, including state champion and current University of Illinois freshman Steven Rodriguez (2011), and 125 all-section wrestlers.
"I think it is well-deserved," Fox Lane assistant wrestling coach Anthony Rodrigues said. "Joe is an iconic figure in the sport of wrestling."
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